jump to navigation

You’re Gonna Wish You’d Kept Up with the Book Club April 21, 2011

Posted by geoff in News.
trackback

Say, I got an idee. I was reading some economic stuff today, and wishing that I had a better background in macroeconomics so I could hammer on the Keynesians more effectively. Then I remembered that MIT has posted pretty much all of its course material online, including 14.02 Principles of Macroeconomics. So I was thinking:

Anybody want to go through the course with me?

I looked at the first lecture, and it was kind of annoyingly chatty but not too dense. There are 24 lectures in total: maybe we could do one a week, varying the pace for the difficulty of the content?

I know this is probably doomed to failure, if it takes off the ground at all. But I thought I’d ask anyway.

Comments»

1. geoff - April 21, 2011

Ummm…..free beer?

2. geoff - April 21, 2011

Speaking of the economy, I do believe that the initial unemployment claims data has stopped improving, and is even backtracking a little. That’s not good.

3. skinbad - April 21, 2011

I’m willing to try. A few months ago I tried watching The Great Courses DVDs for economics at lunch and bombed out after about the first three lectures. It wasn’t intolerable, I just didn’t stick with it. You can use my free beer ration as leverage on other recruits.

4. skinbad - April 21, 2011

My son showed me a good video for the book club.

5. Mitchell - April 21, 2011

Sign me up! Sounds like “fun”.

6. BrewFan - April 21, 2011

Could it be worse than Confederacy of Dunces? I think not. Sign me up.

7. Cathy - April 21, 2011

Could it be worse than Confederacy of Dunces? I think not. Sign me up.

Hahaha. Yea… Um, I mean NO!!

Sorry folks. My fault. I want to get another book started. It will happen soon. Promise… for our summer reading program.

8. Blackiswhite, Imperial Consigliere - April 21, 2011

Do I get to cheat off of your notes? ‘Cause if not, I’ll stick to slogging through the Anti-Federalist Papers.

9. kevl - April 21, 2011

I will come to class all hungover and doze in the back row. Just like back in the day.

10. daveintexas - April 21, 2011

I’m studying with kevl

11. Michael - April 21, 2011

Do I get to cheat off of your notes?

The notes are actually posted online at the link Geoff gave us.

12. geoff - April 21, 2011

I don’t exactly know how to go about this. I was thinking maybe we’d convene on ning w/video chat and go over the lecture? Ning lets a bunch of people video chat at once.

Or we could just pick one of Michael’s threads and hijack it like we always do.

13. Blackiswhite, Imperial Consigliere - April 21, 2011

The notes are actually posted online at the link Geoff gave us.

This is why nobody really likes you or your little hoe, either.

14. Pupster - April 21, 2011

Macro what now?

15. Cathy - April 21, 2011

Or we could just pick one of Michael’s threads and hijack it like we always do?

Hijack. I’m lazy.

16. BrewFan - April 21, 2011

I’m having second thoughts. I’m really not an MIT kinda guy. I’m an ASU guy. I know, lets have a kegger instead!!

17. daveintexas - April 21, 2011

I slugged it through macro in 1987 and thought we were done but nooooooooooooo.

18. lauraw - April 21, 2011

Let’s do this shit.

19. daveintexas - April 21, 2011

We can get some hookers, and some coke.

20. geoff - April 21, 2011

OK. Put your books and notes away and pick up your pencils. Pop quiz!!

21. Mitchell - April 21, 2011

Oh man, I’m so totally not prepared for a pop quiz…um, somebody loan me a pencil?

22. Michael - April 21, 2011

OK. Put your books and notes away and pick up your pencils. Pop quiz!!

Answer No 1: The fundamental precept of economics is scarcity. There is not enough of anything to make everyone happy.

Answer No 2: In a world of scarcity, Wealth = Natural Resources * Labor * Mutually Beneficial Exchange. The third factor, trading, is by far the most important engine of wealth, dwarfing natural resources and labor. Great advances in wealth have largely occurred by enabling exchanges, e.g., Roman roads, English maritime power, etc. The greatest enabler of exchange is a trusted currency. The Medici family in Venice were the first ones to recognize this in a big way, and they invented banking as a method of artificially stored wealth (as opposed to salt, precious metals, spices, seashells, etc.)

Answer No 3: Wealth is stored utility. Utility is personal and cannot be measured. There is no way to measure what an apple is worth to you, compared to what a peach is worth to me. Money is a proxy for utility, because it enables mutually beneficial exchanges, and it can be measured. You can observe what I will pay for your peach, and you will pay for my apple.

Answer No. 4: However, the marginal value of money declines in value as wealth increases, like any other good. So, the measure of wealth for any person can only be approximated by money. A marginal dollar for a billionaire is worth less than a marginal dollar for someone on food stamps. Thus, taxing the rich is a seductive proposition, until the rich find refuge elsewhere.

Answer No. 5. However, money itself can fluctuate in value depending on supply, which depends upon the integrity of the currency of exchange. Money is basically a debt owed by the sponsoring authority. It’s value depends upon it’s integrity, which can be ruined by oversupply and confiscatory taxes.

Answer No. 6: A system of mutually beneficial exchanges requires (1) the rule of law, which protects (2) private property rights, and supports (3) public infrastructure and (4) the currency.

Answer No. 7: Obama sucks. He is systematically trying to destroy the rule of law, property rights, the public infrastructure, and the dollar.

23. Michael - April 22, 2011

Consider education, for example, which most of us would regard as a critical part of our infrastructure. All available evidence suggests that the appropriate agency to supervise this function is the family, which in turn can control local, state and church institutions that deliver the service.

Liberals fundamentally do not trust families. They trust federal bureaucrats and public sector unions. Not because they are competent, but because they can debauch the value of money for their own benefit.

24. Michael - April 22, 2011

*Michael does deep breathing exercises*

OK, I’ll stop now. Let me just point out again that there is a cheap and easy solution to our problems.

War with Canada. They have oil and many other natural resources, they are only one tank of gas away for most military vehicles, and the inhabitants are mostly docile and submissive.

Are you still pissed off about the War of 1812?

Hell yeah, so am I.

25. Blackiswhite, Imperial Consigliere - April 22, 2011

OK. Put your books and notes away and pick up your pencils. Pop quiz!!

1. Hamilton, The Federalist No. 33.

26. lauraw - April 22, 2011

(fills in bubbles all the way down the sheet without looking at the quiz questions)

abacabadab abacabadab abacabadab

Guaranteed D+, every time.

*leans back and lights a Lucky*

27. Retired Geezer - April 22, 2011

abacabadab abacabadab abacabadab

*Geezer is smug in the knowledge that no one else in class knows that this is the title of a song by Genesis.

Except maybe for the Bass player over there with the bandaids and wet socks.

*Bonus Question: What does abacab actually MEAN?

28. wiserbud - April 22, 2011

*Bonus Question: What does abacab actually MEAN?

It’s the chord progression of the song.

29. Blackiswhite, Imperial Consigliere - April 22, 2011

*Geezer is smug in the knowledge that no one else in class knows that this is the title of a song by Genesis.

Not true. Grandpa used to rock out to it on the oldies station when I was a kid.

30. Dave in Texas - April 22, 2011

abacab

A bad ass can always boink.

31. Retired Geezer - April 22, 2011

Correct!
*sends weiserbud a slightly soiled copy of C of Dunces.

32. wiserbud - April 22, 2011

*sends weiserbud a slightly soiled copy of C of Dunces.

ewwwwwwww….

I mean….

Thanks!

*ssssssssnap


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: